Over the last 25 years, psychologists have found that personalities coalesce around five basic traits, dubbed the Big Five. Everyone can be described as having varying levels of agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extroversion and openness to experience.
Contrary to common perception, people aren’t confined to certain personality types. Usually, no one is entirely an extrovert or an introvert, or a total neat freak or a slob. While a minority may be at the extreme ends of a trait, most people are somewhere in the middle.
“We know conclusively from the research that people just aren’t organized into types,” said Christopher Soto, a psychologist at Colby College in Maine. “Every personality trait is a continuous dimension. You can be very high or very low, and most people fall somewhere in between.”